The Drowning Gull: Submissions and Staff Opportunities

The Drowning Gull is a literary magazine here on WordPress that publishes fiction and nonfiction alike as well as screenplays, book reviews, novel excerpts, comic strips, and more.

If you’re interested in contributing to the magazine, go ahead and check out the Submission Guidelines.

In additional news, The Drowning Gull is also seeking applicants for staff members.

Available positions include a managing editor, nonfiction editor, social media manager, fiction editor, poetry editor, art editor, and blogger.

If you’re interested in any of these positions, you can apply at the Staff Member page.

Good luck if you submit anything or apply to be a staff member! Working on an online literary magazine would be a great experience!

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WordPress Wish

Wordpress Wish

WordPress changes a lot of things. I feel like they’re changing the format of the website all the time.

The Reader is different now and there are more steps to get to the old WP Admin screen. I don’t know about any of you, but I still use and prefer the old WordPress over the new… even though the “new” is getting kind of old at this point.

If WordPress is going to keep changing things, you know what I would really love for them to have?

Folders.

I don’t know if that would help any of you, but it would certainly help me out a lot.

I write many of my blog posts in advance and I’m a very organized person in real life. It would be awesome if I could be just as organized on my blog as well.

My draft box is so cluttered with upcoming blog posts that it’s hard to keep them all in order. I have a planner to keep track of which posts are to be published on which days, but I would love to organize my categories.

Every Sunday is Short Story Sunday. Every Wednesday is Inspiration Station. Fridays are Time To Write and Saturdays are Book Reviews.

Short Story Sunday and Time To Write are always written well in advance. Inspiration Station I try to and the Book Reviews I only write in advance if I finish the book in a timely manner.

Either way, I would love for my draft inbox to have folders for each feature on my blog. It would make my life easier for when I upload posts.

Did you hear that WordPress? That’s what’s on my Christmas wishlist this year.

Inspiration Station: WordPress Blog Share

It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’ve been sitting at my computer trying to figure out what to write for today’s post.

I usually have it planned and written a week in advance, but I’ve been so busy lately that I never got a chance to write today’s post.

I have plenty of ideas, but those require actual thinking and planning. So I’m going to change course and do something a bit different today.

IS WordPress Blog Share (1)

I follow a lot of people on WordPress. I talk to a lot of people and have made many friends because of my blog. I always “like” and “comment” and share the occasional post on Twitter, but I don’t think I’ve ever really expressed how much I enjoy other blogs.

Today I’m only going to showcase three other blogs because otherwise this post would be extremely long. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I will definitely do another post like this in the near future (this may become a mini-series).

First up is Sacha Black. She is a wonderful writer who constantly posts tips and tricks of the trade as well as writing prompts every Wednesday. She also created an awesome real life event called Bloggers Bash. I unfortunately couldn’t go this year, but maybe next year. Check her out–she’s awesome.

Next is Skye Hegyes. She is a fabulous writer who blogs about writing and her own writing journey. She has a few short story and poetry collections published as well as a novel, which you can learn about here. I would recommend giving her a follow.

Then there’s Herminia at AspiringWriter22. I’m pretty sure she was my first best friend on WordPress and we chat every day. She also blogs about writing and books and also just life in general. I’d go check her out as well.

So there’s that. Three blogs I really enjoy reading all the time.

And in case you were wondering, I decided to put this as an Inspiration Station post because these people inspire me to be a better writer. I hope they inspire you too.

Small Changes

From my post yesterday, you would think there would be some huge changes to my blog, right? Well, I thought so too.

My plan was to change the URL and buy the domain name (which I did–yay!) and also to change the layout, fix some pages/posts, and make the blog look more like a website than an actual blog.

So my blog officially has a new title and a new URL which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. Layout-wise, it’s more or less the same. I have done some subtle changes and I’m still thinking about other little changes, but they haven’t been put into effect yet.

In order to customize my theme I need to pay WordPress a certain amount per year. Believe me, the amount isn’t bad at all. However, I just bought the domain name and buying a new layout isn’t just something I feel like I can do at the moment. Maybe next year I will.

In the meantime, the notepad theme is going to stay. Besides, you’re all here for the content of my blog, right? …Right?

With that being said, I am super excited to have a new URL. It makes me feel as though this blog is officially mine. I can’t wait to slowly work at slight layout changes that I can make for free… like I said, I have a few other ideas on how to make the blog look “newer.”

Sorry to disappoint anyone who expected “big changes” like I said there would be because I was expecting big changes, as well. However, I’m happy with what I’ve done for the blog so far.

Here’s to a lot of posting in the New Year!

Slight Hiatus

…But not really.

When I say “hiatus” I don’t mean that I’ll be going away from my blog for a little bit (despite the fact that I already haven’t been on in a little while).  So, sorry for the lack of updates and lack of responses to the comments. Christmas was a busy time and now that it’s all over, I’ve been spending my time playing my new video games (who isn’t?).

Speaking of Christmas, I would love to share with you all how my holiday went and I would love to hear how your holidays went. However, that post is going to be saved for tomorrow… or the next day… or sometime in the near future.

Let me get straight to the point: we all remember that I said I was planning some “changes” to my blog for the new year, yes? Well, one of those changes is to change the blog as a whole.

In 2015 I’m going to work super, extra hard on Detective Florence. I have a schedule for myself through May (pray I stick with it) and it’s all writing, re-writing, and editing Detective Florence. My goal is to start querying the novel by this time next year. Hopefully sooner, but you can’t rush these things.

With that being said, if I’m going to take the next step to become a published author, I want a blog/website that looks more… professional, I guess you could say. Yes, I am finally going to change the URL name and buy the domain name from WordPress.

I think this will be a good step in the right direction for me. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time now and I think it’s finally time for me to take action. After two and a half years, I think Spilled Ink needs a change. I need a change.

I also believe that once this is done, it will be sort of like a reminder to myself. My blog will be telling me, “You’re actually serious about this writing business, so you better not let yourself or your followers down!”

With that being said, I am not going to be randomly disappearing. I will not post once a day every day for two weeks and then disappear for three weeks. We all know that I tend to do that.

I have planned posts; some are written, some are not. However, I will be more active and my blog will be a much better place.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I’m going to be switching my blog over today. That’s December 29, 2014 for those of you in a different time zone or reading this on a different day.

I do not know how long/short this will take. I do not know how easy/hard it will be. Needless to say, my blog is going to be a hot mess for today. Maybe tomorrow, too. I don’t really know what I’m doing.

So, I just wanted this “slight hiatus” to be a bit of a warning… if anyone comes across my blog and it’s all jumbled up and confusing–fear not! Your computer is not broken, I’m just breaking my blog into pieces unsure how to put it back together again.

I’m probably making it sound much worse than it really is…

Anyway, I hope the next time we meet my blog will look fantastic and it’ll be brand new and everyone will love it! Please bare with me while I work on this. Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I am thankful for my school. As much as I complain, I would not be where l am today without it. I am well-educated and have learned a lot over the years. School has opened my mind to many new things and because of that l want to learn more.

I am thankful my job, the people l work with, and my students. I work with wonderful people who are inspiring to me with all the care and knowledge they bring to the special education world. I love each and every one of my students. Despite their disabilities, they still smile every single day and strive to be independant and do the best they can. I always look forward to going to work and am truly lucky to be one of the few people in this world who actually love their job.

I am thankful for all the past jobs l’ve had. I have met so many people over the years, some good and some bad. However, that taught me the right things to say and do and also that some people are here to stay and some aren’t, but everyone comes into your life for a reason.

I am thankful for the “little things” that l have a warm bed to sleep in at night, food to fill my belly, and a house to keep me protected.

I am thankful for the money l have. I struggle sometimes, but l have the knowledge and control to spend money only on what l need and not what l want. Because of that, l am debt-free and able to pay for school out of my own pocket.

I am thankful for time. There are simply not enough hours in the day, but l am grateful for what l can get done each day. It teaches me how to be productive and organized.

I am thankful for the Internet. Without it l would not write as much as l do. I would not be able to blog, do research, or even my school work.

I am thankful for WordPress, this blog, and all my WordPress friends (you know who you are). I have met so many wonderful people through my blog. Everyone has taught me lot (especially about writing). I love you all for your care and support through my blog and aspiring writing career.

I am thankful for my writing. It means l am creative and have an active imagination. Plus, it’s a lot of fun and what l live for.

I am thankful for my anxiety. Without that l would not have found courage and strength in myself. I would not have learned to face my fears.

I am thankful for my church. They’re like my mini family. I am happy to teach sunday school at a great church with a lot of eager students.

I am thankful for my pets Chip the dog, Hunter the cat, Raph the turtle, and Nano the fish. I am lucky to have a great home with a lot of space to give these animals a loving family and long, healthy, happy lives. If l could get more, l would. I plan to someday.

I am thankful for my friends, past and present. People who l am no longer friends with have come and gone for their own reasons. They reminded me that if l don’t have anything nice to say l shouldn’t say anything at all. However, as much as you dislike someone, you should always be polite and pleseant to them. You never know what else they may be going through. My present friends teach me something new every day. They love me for who l am. They support me in everything l do, no matter how silly it sounds. I am lucky to have friends that l can call “family.”

I am thankful for my extended family. All my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins on both my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the family. I may not see them often, but they’re always there for us and are just a phone call away. I am lucky they are all in-state.

I am thankful for my immidiate family. My mom and dad, who l would be lost without. They have taught me how to be me and become a responsible adult. They taught me everything about life. My sister Kris who has always been there for me and supported me in everything l do. She listens to my writing ideas and plays video games upon video games with me. My sister Lisa who introduced me to the wonderful job l have now, always listens to my problems, and also introduced me to the “classics” such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Alfred Hitchcock, and my favorite Jerry Lewis. She’s always there to sit and watch a good movie with me. My new brother-in-law Nick, who has made his way into my family comfortably and fits right in. He’s interested in just about everything l’m interested in and really cares for Lisa and the rest of the family as his own.

I am thankful for me. All my strengths and weaknesses, my looks and personality, and all the ups and downs of my life. All that makes me who l am.

Today take a moment and think about what you’re thankful for and share it with the world. We all really are lucky for what we have. It’s time we recognize it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Two Year Anniversary

Two Year Anniversary

I got a notification from WordPress this morning… Apparently my blog is two-years-old today. How weird is that?

I have a tendency to never to finish what I start; which is just one reason as to why I get super excited to finish a novel–now, if only I could just completely finish them by editing them. 😉

I’m pretty sure I explained this when my blog turned one last year, but I originally started this blog on BlogSpot. The traffic was slow and it was a bit harder to manage. It was still easy, but it wasn’t as laid out as WordPress is. Kris was the one who told me to switch to WordPress. So I did and I am so glad I did.

Two years is a long time and I’m still active on this blog. Of course, I have my moments when you don’t hear from me for a while, but now that I’ve added the Short Story Sunday you guys at least hear from me once a week. Unless I forget to post…which has happened two or three times.

I’ve made a lot of new friends over the past two years and I’ve learned a lot, too; most of all about writing. I’ve gained over 1,000 followers, which is a huge achievement on its own.

So, if I was able to drink I’d say we should raise our champagne glasses and toast to another great year for Spilled Ink. But since we can’t do that, I’ll just give you guys a virtual high-five instead.

Happy Birthday, Spilled Ink!

1,000 Followers — Thank You

Thank You

Spilled Ink hit a milestone the other day! After blogging for almost two years, Spilled Ink is up to 1,000 followers. Thank you everyone who have made this possible! I’ll keep this short and sweet, so…

Through the years I have been nominated for many awards, have been re-blogged, and have made many WordPress friends. It’s so much fun sharing my adventures in writing and life with all of you and I’m glad 1,000 of you have enjoyed reading about my adventures and deemed my blog good enough to come back for more.

Adding a “thank you” picture to this post is the least I could do for all the feedback, advice, and friendship I have received from all of you.

I hope everyone is doing well with their writing, their blogs, and life in general. Thanks again! 🙂

Goodbye 2013!

New Year

 

 

Today is the last day of 2013. How weird is that? I decided to do something special on here in celebration of 2014. I spent most of the morning going through all my blog posts from 2013. I had a good few laughs at the things that happened and there were also a lot of things that I couldn’t remember that happened. Oh, and I wish I counted all the typos I have made in my blog posts…sorry about that!

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to recap on everything that happened in 2013. I know WordPress sends something about views, stats, posts, pictures, comments, followers, etc. But my report is going to be about everything that actually happened in real life. And I know I don’t post every day or post about everything little thing that happens in my life, we can still get a pretty good idea on what’s been going on.

January:
–I was in the middle of writing The Blank Page.
–Dick passed away. Dick was an old man from my church. He did a lot for the church and the people apart of it. He passed away from a long hard-fought battle of lung cancer. It’s really hard to believe that it’s already been about a year since his death.
–We switched from Verizon to Comcast. My laptop still has internet issues because of this. It’s been almost a year of me fighting with my internet connection, too!
–My flash drive died and I lost everything. All the novels I was currently working on and already completed. All my lesson plans for Sunday school, everything for work, all my homework, among other things. I literally lost everything.

Feburary:
–About a week after my flash drive died, I finally got back into writing. I started writing Take Over (as The Blank Page was lost and I was too discouraged to re-write it). I worked on Take Over for the entire month.
–I got my driver’s license.

March:
–I prepared myself to write Saving Each Other for Camp NaNoWriMo in April.
–I continued writing Take Over.
–I sent my picture book Asking Bobby to a publisher.
–I came up with the idea of starting a vlog.

April:
–Wrote Saving Each Other for Camp NaNo and finished it. Began the second part, Seeing Things. I also finished Take Over and began writing The Blank Page again.
–I wrote one haiku a day for the NaPoWriMo, but finished after April.
–I finished my first vlog, but decided not to post it
–I began writing Far Away in a notebook
–I was interviewed by Briana Vedsted
–Did a Booky Questions and Blog Hopper survey
–I made a goal to finish The Blank Page in May, which never went through.

May:
–Attempted to write The Blank Page and the three novels that are written in that novel. None of them got finished.
–Made a writing and editing schedule which stuck for a little while.
–I was nominated for the Sunshine and Super Sweet Blogger awards.
–I began editing Diary of a Lover while my mom began to edit Take Over.

June:
–Finished the fourth draft of Diary of a Lover. I tried to print it out to let Kris edit it, but the printer broke.
–I began to edit Hunter because I didn’t want to start a new project before the next session of Camp NaNo in July.
–My sister Lisa moved out with her boyfriend, my two cousins moved in with my grandparents, and I graduated with my Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
–Began to write a Pokemon FanFiction that is still not finished.

July:
–I decided to write Cybertra for Camp NaNo, but ended up not finishing it in the end. I ended up not being into the story anymore. Needless to say, I lost that NaNo session.
–Kris and I tried out a new writing schedule, but after going on vacation for a whole week, the schedule died.
–Decided to do contests and post stories into books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul.

August:
–Sam, a boy I babysit for, wanted me to write The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel which is about the two of us. I never wrote it, although I had plans to.
–I thought a lot about my future. School, work, writing, etc. Wondered where I was going to be in a few years and how I was going to get there.
–Comet, my uncle’s dog, was put down due to cancer.
–I had a tough time writing so I wrote a silly prompt and it ended up sparking a few new ideas.
–We began to remodel Lisa’s bedroom so Kris and I could have an office. It is now complete and we call it the “Blue Room.” Don’t ask why, we planned on calling it our office.
–I finally got a new flash drive.
–I continued editing and outlining Hunter and began to write and outline Hunted, the sequel.
–My co-worker was laid off due to low enrollment leaving me with a promotion, but it was only me and one other teacher with all the kids.

September:
–Work started as me being a teacher and school started which was my first semester at a new school for my bachelor’s.
–Gloria, a member of my church, passed away.
–I asked for information about Smashwords and got a lot of nice feedback along with others. I still have to finish researching Smashwords, PubIt!, CreateSpace, and Kindle Direct Publishing.

October:
–I prepared for NaNo in November. I planned out the novel using sticky notes, index cards, and a big poster board with Kris.

November:
–I hit 50,000 words on Detective Florence for NaNo 17 days into the month. I am still currently working on the novel. I have a little over 70,000 words so far.

December:
–I won NaNo and I talked about focusing more on my writing
–I lost my teaching job. The preschool closed due to low enrollment and no money. I am still jobless.
–I survived my first semester for my bachelor degree.
–I got the new Pokemon games and a Kindle for Christmas!

So there you have it. A breakdown of everything that happened to me in 2013. But as I looked through my old blog posts I realized probably about 90% of everything I started was never finished. I know I say this all the time, but for 2014 I’m really going to buckle down and get something published. Or get something ready for publication. No more goofing off.

My resolution for 2013 was to read 50 pages a day and write 1,000 words a day. I stopped keeping track long ago, but I know I did not make the reading goal. I most likely didn’t make the writing goal, either. I doubt I wrote 365,000 words this past year. While there were some days I wrote 10k, there were so many other days that I didn’t bother to write at all.

My resolution this year is…

–Finish editing a novel or two
–Read more
–Freelance: Enter writing contests, send stories into magazines, etc.
–Finish what I start

That last one is for everything, not just my writing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and I wish everyone the best in 2014! 🙂

Hello 2013!

I Can’t Believe Another Year Has Come And Gone…

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a lovely New Year! I spent last night at my friends house with my sisters…our host fell asleep. But it’s okay, we woke her up 20 minutes before midnight! We watched the people in New York…no one would be able to drag me there for anything on that night. Too many people and it was way too cold. Plus, I like to go to bed right after midnight…even though I didn’t. But that’s besides the point.

Anyway, I got a new little nifty gadget from Santa! I got an iPod Touch. I know some of you probably don’t think that’s a big deal because most of you probably have the iPhone 5, but my phone is an old Sony Ericsson flip phone that I have had for a few years and it still works wonders…even after I accidentally drop it a million times a day. His name is Caleb and I love him.

But speaking of Donny (this is what I named my new iPod), I have used him quite a bit. One of my favorite things is the WordPress App that I have for it. That’s what I used when I wrote my last post oh so long ago. But at least now, I can update while I’m in class at school! Isn’t that great? 😀

But let’s talk about the new year. The past two years I have had the same resolution and both years I started off the beginning of the year really well and followed it. Then half way through the year, I would either get bored or just forget about it. That resolution was to read more. So, I think I might try it again, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I am on GoodReads and the link to my profile is on the Come Find Me page of this blog if anyone wants to check it out (I also have the app for that, too!). I also just joined the 2013 Reading Challenge on there with a goal of 20 books. It told me that I only read eight books last year. That’s kind of sad…but kind of a new record for me, I guess.

Another resolution: write more. I feel as though I say this every single day, but I really am going to start writing a lot more. Here’s a little bit of news for you: I finished Saving Each Other. Remember that NaNo I was trying to accomplish? Well, I finished it in the middle of December. The only thing is that I’m going to try doing something  a little different…

My sister came up with this idea and I’ve decided to follow through with it because I believe it would work out better this way. Instead of Saving Each Other being one book with sequels, I’m going to have it be in one book. Saving Each Other is just the first part. So I guess you can say that I finished one part of a book that’s going to have five parts. So, I edited my To Do List page and replaced “finish Saving Each Other” with “finish Seeing Things.” I also got rid of the whole write 360 pages by the end of the year…I think I got to a little over 200 pages. Not bad, at least.

So this is what I’m going to be doing this year: reading more and writing more. Let’s hope that I can keep it up with school and work!

Happy New Year everyone! And good luck with all your resolutions! 🙂